The World of Warcraft Preview Panel held at Blizzcon was presented by Chris Metzen, Alex Afrasiabi, Tom Chilton and Cory Stockton.
Classic world revamp of every zone with updated quests, art and items.
Guild Advancement System. Everything the players do will contribute to the advancement of their guild. There will be 20 guild levels. All you do from arena, battlegrounds, quests, raids, daily quests and other aspects of the game will contribute to adding up points toward your guild level advancement.
What this does is that your guild will have its own talent tree, and as you unlock points for your guild, your guild master will be able to get cheaper repairs, mass-resurrection,
Blizzard will increase the notch up with the use of phased terrain to change the world around you as you progress through quests making the old world of Azeroth much more dynamic than ever before, making the stories more compelling and interesting.
The example given by Tom Chilton during the panel shows a coastline (before and after). The phased terrain shows the coastline normal and later half of it is underwater.
The new secondary profession: Archaeology, is leveled up by exploring ancient ruins and caves for artifacts. As you progress discoveries and those lead directly to unlocking access to the Path of the Titans character progression.
There are no longer changes to your talent trees. You will keep your 51 points in the expansion. Blizzard is going a different way from this point forth with character progression. In Cataclysm, you must choose any of the Path of the Titans: Aman’thul, Eonar, Khaz’Goroth, Norgannon or Golganneth.
These paths can be chosen by any class. It adds another dimension to your character’s customization. In addition there is the Mastery System, which allows Blizzard to prune some of the complexity of the talent trees allowing them to be more like passive bonuses such as crit chance, more damage, increase poison damage and that sort of thing.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm adds many new dungeons, creatures, quests and items.
Cataclysm on Azeroth reveals new lands and it has dramatically altered classic world zones. Blizzard is revamping all zones. However, there are five adventure zones for level 78-85 and two starting zones for levels 1-15. You can also fly anywhere in this new revamped Azeroth. No restrictions like the ones over Wintergrasp. You can fly wherever you want. Beneath is a video we got from Blizzard’s Press Kit CD. It is a B-roll of the new zones in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.
There are multiple scales of change, and some zones have been drastically affected by the cataclysm just based on where they are. Elwynn Forest isn’t so affected, but there are new quests. On the other hand, we have the Barrens which has been hit hard by the Cataclysm. It has been split in two: Northrend Barrens and Southern Barrens. Blizzard is changing the level flow from 1-60.
Cataclysm introduces seven new zones never accessed before by players:
- Mount Hyjal (Present)
- The Lost Isles (Goblin Starting Location)
- Gilneas (Worgent Starting Location)
- Isle of Kezan
- The Sunken City of Vashj’ir
- Twilight Highlands
Uldum is not just an instance past the gates at the Valley of Watchers, it is a whole new Zone. The Sunken City of Vashj’ir is a new type of zone, it is an underwater zone. Blizzard will make sure it is not annoying to play underwater.
The Twilight Highlands is a new zone located to the east of Wetlands. This zone was known previously as Grim Batol, east of the Grim Batol fortress. The Grim Batol dungeon will be playable in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.
These are the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm dungeons:
Grim Batol: lvl 85 5-man
Uldum: two 5-man dungeons (lvl 84-85 and 85)
Deephome: 5-man dungeon (lvl 81-83)
Skywall: 5-man dungeon (lvl 80-82)
Abyssal Maw: 5-man dungeon (lvl 81-83 and lvl 82-84)
Blackrock Caverns: 5-man dungeon (lvl 85)
OLD WORLD HEROICS
The Deadmines: One level 85 heroic 5-players dungeon
Shadowfang Keep: One lvl 85 heroic 5-players dungeon
Deephome is the elemental plane of earth in Azeroth. The warped entrance to Deephome is located within Deathwing Scar—west of Burning Steppes. There you can level up from lvl 80-85. It’s like the Dragonblight of Cataclysm leveling-wise. It is not connected physically to Azeroth, but this is the point of entry to the place where Deathwing has awakened from his slumber, and that’s the cause of the rupture of reality that originated the cataclysm.
Skywall, Abyssal Maw, Deephome and Firelands were mentioned to be among the dungeons to be expected in Cataclysm—this is interesting because those are locations within the Elemental Plane created by the Titans to imprison the Lieutenants of the Old gods. This means that Deathwing has done something unimaginable. He is sorta broken the barriers of reality and the Elemental Plane has sort of merged, or better said, warped onto Azeroth.
Abyssal Maw is one of the two 5-player dungeons located in the underwater zone named the Sunken City of Vashjir. The Abyssal Maw is sort of the Elemental Plane of Water. It is a giant vortex in the center of the zone. Getting near the vortex will pull you in into the Elemental Plane of Water.
From there you can enter any of the two dungeons of the Abyssal Maw. The Sunken City of Vashjir was created by the Titans for water elementals. However, the Naga has come in, and we will learn some new storylines there that will let us know why the Naga are there and how are they tied to Deathwing and the Cataclysm.
The Abyssal Maw is a non-linear dungeon. You choose where to go. It’s a lvl 78-82 dungeon. This is one of the first dungeons you will see in the expansion.
Uldum is an entire new zone where you will find the Hall of Origination which is composed of two 5-player dungeon wings.
You will experience the ultimate Titan dungeon. It’s non-linear, so you take the choice of what to do first. We will find Prospector Brann Bronzebeard here. There are seven bosses here.
Some fans are confused with the rumors going around the net. Yes, we are going back to Blackrock Mountain, but this is a completely new dungeon separate from Blackrock Depths and Blackrock Spire. This new dungeon is occupied by the Twilight’s Hammer. Deathwing basically dug a hole from beneath Blackrock Mountain to Grim Batol connecting both mountains through a huge tunnel. An underground freeway that he uses to transport supplies back and forth and anywhere in Azeroth.
Scott Mercer (Lead Encounter Designer) showcased the Icecrown Citadel dungeon. He played a joke mentioning there would be 31 bosses—then stopped and said did Ghostcrawler play with the powerpoint slides? Then rectified. There are twelve epic bosses in Icecrown Citadel.
It will have a 10-player and a 25-player raid dungeon. Teleporters will be available to get straight to bosses. A successful formula widely welcomed by players in Ulduar. Sindragosa will be the ultimate frost wyrm. This is the former consort of Malygos, not a wannabe drake or young dragon.
Icecrown Citadel is plain crazy. Once you reach the second floor, you will board an airship. If you are Alliance you will find King Varian Wrynn. If you are Horde, there will be Thrall. Basically, the opposite faction leaders and their troops will aboard your airship. You have to fend them off. Then you have to board their airship and take down the mages and stuff. You fight all the way till the airship reaches the top of Icecrown Citadel.
Once you reach the third floor, there are three wings with different sets of bosses. You will find Sindragosa the Frost Wyrm here. You need to clear all three wings to get access to the fourth floor: The Frozen Throne.
That’s eight bosses across three separate dungeon wings that interact with the Lich King. Something interesting in this patch 3.3 dungeon is that there are epic quest lines to unlock access to the second and third wings.
You fight alongside Alliance/Horde heroes. Among them are Jaina Proudmoore or Lady Sylvanas.
One little spoiler about the Arthas the Lich King encounter that was revealed is that part of the floor will break, and if you fall that’s bad.
Ragnaros has sent his fire elementals to burn the World Tree in Mount Hyjal (Present), a new zone. This time the players will have the chance to enter from Mount Hyjal—apparently—the warp-gate to the Firelands in the Elemental Plane. What this means is that you will take the fight to Ragnaros own backyard, to his domain …. where he is at full strength. You will find him at Sulfuron Keep. You will find several fire elemental bosses in the outdoors.
Here are some of my photos from the Blizzard Tour back on July 20th for the Starcraft II Single Player Hands On Event.
Slow internet here, I will upload more stuff after the dinner.
I guess I am getting used to boarding airplanes—with July 20th attending the Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty single player hands-on fansite event, and now—in less than a month.
Arrived to a Texas Airport around 5pm CST, and I could swear some guys down there at the control tower were saying: “Houston, Houston—do you copy? I think we got a [problem]. We are seeing a fiery Medievaldragon land on our field.”
Silliness aside, it was a nice trip, except for my old back pain. They surely don’t make those seats for tall people (6’1”).
Reached California around 7pm, and called the taxi van that was scheduled by Blizzard Entertainment to pick me up. Two guys boarded the taxi, and the driver was curious why the other guys meant to be there for pickup hadn’t arrived yet.
I knew at least one of those meant to take the taxi with me: pR0gR4m3R from Starcraft-ESP.
Met the girl that won the Lore Contest. She was invited by Blizzard to the event. Looks like LordofAscension and pR0gR4m3R had flight issues, and arrived much later nigh midnight. Didn’t get to have dinner with them as planned.
Found AJ (Starcraft.org) and Starcraft2forums.com or was that Starcraft-Source? Meh, too tired to remember. I’m not too chatty, so I was just listening their dreadful WWI Paris stories, and laughing some at the old memories. Around 10:30pm, since the dinner with the guys wasn’t gonna happen till they arrived past midnight, I went with the Lore contest winner to eat at Ihop. Go figure, they don’t just sell pancakes. Yup, I’m an Ihop nooblar. Went to bed by midnight, and woke up nigh 5am. We are heading to Blizzard campus after 9:30am for the Fansites Summit. More later.
I was invited to the Single Player Hands-On Gameplay event in Irvine, CA on a very short notice (Thursday, July 16th). I was told Chris Metzen was behind my invitation. I can say I deeply thank him. I’m flattered and honored.
Blizzplanet has been devoted to reporting the latest news about all Blizzard games’s licensed products, interviews with writers, and game lore content for the past seven years.
To be among the first batches of fans having the opportunity to play the Starcraft II Single-Player is certainly very rewarding. Being an all-geeky lore-nerd myself, having read most of the Starcraft novels, mangas and now subscriber of the Starcraft comic book, I can better appreciate all the clever integration of the licensed products’ printed media based on the Starcraft universe and its continuity become a reality within the Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty Single-Player.
The build I played had approximately 6-7 maps available out of over 30-35 missions the final product will have. My lore spider-sense tingled at least five times while playing the single player campaign, after noticing stuff that came straight out of the novels and the Starcraft: Frontline manga. These bits let me extrapolate that the entire final game will be very influenced by everything hardcore lore fans have read in the printed media. They are fully integrated.
It will be much more rewarding to fans when they go: “Holy, I saw that in “X” and “Y” book”. “OMG, that’s from the manga”. You will already have the backstory of these characters, and plots. Which is a plus, in comparison to going through the missions not knowing who the characters are, or how meaningful, if at all, are certain locations or objects.
This is why World of Warcraft has been so successful. There were millions of Warcraft II and Warcraft III players around the world by the time the MMO was launched. In the same way, all those fans who have read all the printed media will feel so close and excited with the single-player. If you haven’t yet read any of these novels and manga, you better get going to a local or online bookstore to start educating yourself in advance prior to engaging the Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty single-player.
In this Starcraft II: Single Player Hands-On preview you will be glad to see 16 screenshots, an HD Video Footage, and details from the first single-player maps, achievements, upgrades, rooms and characters within the Hyperion, Mercenaries, and an exclusive interview with our beloved Blizzard VP of Creative Design: Chris Metzen.
I will now share with all of you this single-player experience from the point of view of a geeky lore-nerd. To navigate through all the pages, simply click on any of the images below to jump to the next page. Instead of links for navigation, I wanted to make this like the Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty campaign where you choose which mission to play. Get back tomorrow for the lore comprehensive article that analyzes in-depth all the lore within the novels, and manga which have been integrated within the Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty single-player.
Your first page to read in this journey is my introduction: The Hyperion.
Blizzard Entertainment invited Starcraft II fansites to visit their Studios in Irvine, California to play the Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty single player campaign. There were approximately 6-7 missions available in this press-exclusive demo build. We want to show you some footage of each of the mission maps we played through. Hope you are as excited as us. I really wanted to take home a copy of this demo. To be honest … I CAN’T WAIT. Watch the single player gameplay video.
More articles about the single player below:
For months, I have theorized that the final assault against the Icecrown Citadel dungeon and the battle against the Lich King will be assisted by heroes. This is strongly suggested due to the introduction of faction champions in the Argent Coliseum—i.e. if you are Horde you will fight Alliance champions. And viceversa. My theory is two-fold: If you are Horde, Thrall and Garrosh will fight alongside you against the Lich King. Whereas if you are Alliance, King Varian and Jaina Proudmoore will. I am unsure if there will be other faction heroes—for example, King Magni and Mekkatorque; or Cairne and Vol’jin are very underused. Vol’jin at least had a participation in the Battle for Undercity, but the other heroes haven’t been used.
As an example, Akama the draenei helped us in the Illidan the Betrayer battle, and below 20% health Maiev Shadowsong joined the battle to defeat him in the Black Temple. It is smart to think that in order to defeat Arthas the Lich King we might need the assistance of faction heroes to take him down.
The second theory was that Trag Highmountain would play a role in the battle against the Icecrown Citadel dungeon. This character comes from the pages of Tokyopop’s manga through Warcraft Legends Vol. 1-4, a story written by Richard A. Knaak. Trag however debuted in a previous manga titled Warcraft: The Sunwell Trilogy along with Kalecgos, Anveena, Dar’Khan Drak’thir, Tyri and Jorad Mace—who already have NPCs in-game since the Burning Crusade expansion days.
Trag Highmountain rose as a undead tauren in Warcraft Legends Vol. 1. He had destroyed the Orb of Ner’zhul sacrificing himself. However, the orb rose him as undead later. He sought help from his tribe’s shaman, but was deceived by his own people. Thrall helped Trag heal within, and allowed him to reach Borean Tundra aboard the ships that sailed to settle the Warsong Hold.
From there, Trag found the Taunka at the Taunka’le Village and helped them contain the attacks from the Anu’bar. Trag accompanied a Taunka in his search for a beloved female. They found her corpse at the Galakrond’s rest graveyard. Here Trag found a bone of Galakrond and created a weapon out of it with the hope to kill Arthas the Lich King with it. His thirst for vengeance against the one responsible for his undead state is vast. However, he succumbed to the Lich King and became his Death Knight puppet. His first mission was to lay siege to the Icemist Village. Without spoiling further, Trag Highmountain recovered his freedom, and as revealed today in patch 3.2 he claims he will help us in the final assault against the Lich King.
Trag: “I will join in the assault upon Icecrown Citadel when the time to strike is upon us.”
Last year, after I met Jeff Kaplan at the Blizzard campus’ cafeteria, I shared with him an idea for the Lich King encounter. I have no clue if he ever got to follow up on that before he moved on to the Next-Gen MMO development, but we will see.
The Tech Purchase tab is accessible through the console next to Mr. Swann in the center of the Armory Room inside the Hyperion battlecruiser. You can see the great design overhaul it has evolved into from what we saw at BlizzCon 2007. It looks more detailed, with a much deserved Terran flavor from the original Starcraft. You purchase upgrades for your units, buildings, and other stuff with the credits you have earned in each mission. At the right you can see the credits you have, and the cost of the upgrade you have selected. You press the purchase button if you want it. Otherwise, nothing happens and you can explore each upgrade. The bottom-left panel offers a handy preview animation of what the upgrade might do.
Return to the Single Player Hands On: main gallery page or close this page.
EVGA and Blizzard Entertainment has partnered to offer a free download of World of Warcraft classic when players buy one of the elegible EVGA GeForce video cards.
Buy any qualifying NVIDIA
3 POINT ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES RELEASE OF WORLD OF WARCRAFT
I finished reading StarCraft: The Dark Templar, TWILIGHT by Christie Golden. Is it worth reading? My verdict: OMG !!!! It is soaked with revelations, teasing and cliffhangers. All roads lead to StarCraft II single player in one way or another. The truth about the Xel’Naga are finally revealed, and now it is obvious how dire the future is for the Protoss, Terrans and Zerg … and all of the StarCraft universe. But are things the way we have speculated and expected for the past 12 years? Be ready for a shocking canon revelation that will shake your socks. (grins).
Keep an eye for our video interview with Christie Golden held last week at the Book Revue in Huntington, New York where Christie teases few hints of what to expect in TWILIGHT. I’m hoping to release the video around June 30th to celebrate the official nationwide launch of StarCraft: The Dark Templar, Twilight to a bookstore near you. And maybe some extra hints via review. Stay tuned.
That’s right. The Mountain Dew World of Warcraft Game Fuel pet is now available, and you don’t even need to buy Game Fuel to get it. It seems you need to log everyday into the Game Fuel website each day to fuel up your Battle-Bot.
You simply go to the official WoW Game Fuel website, and click the Battle Bot promotion image. There you are forwarded to your Battle.net Account. Once you login, you are treated with: “Congratulations. You have received a Battle-Bot pet. The next time you log in to World of Warcraft after fully logging out of the game (return to the login screen), you should be able to pick up your Battle-Bot from any in-game mailbox. Return to the Mountain Dew Game Fuel website each day to receive a case of Battle Fuel for your Battle-Bot!”
The WORLD OF WARCRAFT Premium Series 2 has been announced and unveiled. The new series will be available on January 27, 2010. It includes:
- Gnome Warlock: Valdremar with Voidwalker Voyd (Warlock is 3.25
Blizzard is preparing to launch the PTR 3.1.2 for testing. You can now copy your character or even create a premade character. I just did both of them on USA. WoW-Europe PTR Copy is also available. The client is 107MB.
|World of Warcraft PTR Patch 3.1.2
The latest test realm patch notes can always be found at:
The latest patch notes can always be found at:
Class patch notes after the break.
Improved Death Strike: This talent now also increases the healing from Death Strike by 25/50% and the tooltip has been adjusted to reflect the actual functionality after the hotfix in 3.1.0.
Ghoul Frenzy: Now has a 10-second cooldown.
Dungeons and Raids
The Blizzard Mobile Department released their first iPhone / iPod app recently, offering fans an alternative to secure their World of Warcraft accounts by replacing the physical Blizzard Authenticator with an iPhone. You can download the Battle.net Mobile Authenticator app off iTunes. Simply launch iTunes and type: Blizzard Authenticator. It will allow you to download it for free. The application will give you a random number that you must enter when login into World of Warcraft or entering your account webpage.
This app gives you an extra security that your account won’t be hacked and items stolen by gold farmers. A very nice guide with screenshots on how this app works can be found here.
Bashiok explained some of the Diablo III User-Interface (UI) features, how it is distributed on-screen and more interestingly the intelligent UI engine that auto-assigns an ability or spell to the hotbar when you gain a new one. It is gonna be exciting to see how much the hotbar and UI has changed from what we saw at Blizzcon 2008. Hopefully, it will be playable in the upcoming Blizzcon (August) to keep you updated.
|Bashiok: In Diablo III you’ll have seven places which skills can be placed. Four on the hot bar, one for the left mouse button, and two for the right mouse button. The two for the right mouse button can be swapped back and forth using Tab or the scroll wheel.
Currently any of your skills can be placed into any of these seven skill spots. The game tries to help you out with their placement though. When you train a new skill it will attempt to intelligently place it for you. So if it’s – for instance – a buff or non-targeted aoe ability (witch doctor Horrify, barbarian Ground Stomp, etc.) it’s going to put it into your hot bar as it’s not something you use through a mouse-targeted enemy attack. For abilities that are used by clicking on an enemy (wizard Magic Missile, etc.), the game will attempt to intelligently place them on your mouse buttons for you. So after learning a new skill it’s already on your bar ready to be used, and it’s placed somewhere that makes sense to how it’s used.
But just because it attempts to help you out by placing skills where they make the most sense, you can put them anywhere you like. If you want to have Magic Missile cast by pressing the first hot bar key (the 1 key on your keyboard), you can, and it will cast toward wherever your cursor is. You can do this with any of the abilities.
The system automatically places skills where they make the most sense, but allows you to customize however you please. It’s a nice wide open, play how you want to play approach, while still offering a helpful guide in the beginning. Also I think it will help, or possibly just not impede, class build diversification.
Chat with Devs: StarCraft II from its conception has been designed to be an eSport and one of the backbone features to helping players learn more about their own gameplay as well as their opponents is through replays. In our chat with Dustin this week, he highlighted various features that will be available to players while viewing replays. These features are designed both to help players improve in StarCraft II as well as serve as a platform of statistics for eSports commentary.
Karune informed the anti-gravity ability has been changed from its original concept, thus some of the Q&A batches are outdated. In the current alpha build, anti-gravity cannot lift buildings, and cannot lift big units such as the Colossus and the Thor. The ability doesn’t cause any effect on air units either.
The anti-gravity ability is meant for harassment and strategic disabling of key units early and mid game.